Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Calling back to an issue I brought up in my bio on the website, Real Estate is becoming yet another battleground in the fight to better accommodate those with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. However, impactful change is occurring, which brings hope to the growing population of adults with ASD. First and foremost, let us diagnose the issue that too long has festered due to neglect.
Again, recalling my previous writing, nearly 500,000 new people with ASD will enter adulthood within the next ten years. In addition A study by Easter Seals found that more than 80 percent of adults with ASD between the ages of 19 and 30 still live at home with many of those families not knowing or having access to transition services. Economically, the loss of money due to the failure of systems to provide adequate services costs society nearly 3.2 million dollars per person with ASD. But the most heartbreaking part is due to this lack of accommodations, those with ASD often outlive their parental caregivers, often leaving them without a solid housing or support structure. Thus the economic cost as massive, yet it pales in comparison to the heavy human cost that is becoming more and more tangible as these adults come of age. However, as bleak as the previous information sounds, there is a effort to rectify this failure of society.
When looking at the massive real estate firms which sit atop the high menacing towers of New York and Dallas, it would be very hard to see them as a potential solution to these issues. However one firm has already proven this line of thinking wrong. According to a Washington Post article, Real Estate developer Shine Communities announced the building of new properties that are catering to those with ASD. The firm plans to built over 460 communities comprised of 100 apartments each. The plan is set to be finished within the next decade and in turn would provide housing for nearly 50,000 people with ASD. These communities would also allow access to mentoring and transition services that are very much needed. This is a step in the right direction and a signal to other firms that there is a source of profitability coming from appealing to this new customer segment. Thus, in economic terms, those with ASD are underserved. If done right, it not only makes moral sense to appeal to this group, but also fiscal sense.
This example shows how while seemingly detached from ASD, business and real estate are imperative. It shines a light on how helping those with ASD in transitioning to adulthood can not only be socially rewarding, but also can be a key part of a successful and ultimately fiscally rewarding venture for other Real Estate firms as well.
“Developer Plans High-Tech Housing for Adults with Autism.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 17 Jan. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/01/17/developer-plans-high-tech-housing-adults-with-autism/.
“New Study Addresses Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders.” Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), 14 Apr. 2014, www.autismcenter.org/new-study-addresses-residential-options-adults-living-autism-and-related-disorders.
OPENING DOORS - Southwest Autism Research & Resource ...www.autismcenter.org/sites/default/files/files/openingdoors_print_042610_001.pdf.